*Editor’s Note: In the first of IMBH’s series of artist profiles, Christine Stoddard graciously fills us in on all things creative, including what inspires her and what her process is like.
IMBH: First, tell us who you are.
CS: I’m a fairy punk. I’m a moon shadow. I’m a pony sweat factory. I also am a Salvadoran-Scottish-American writer and artist originally from Virginia. Now I live in Brooklyn, where I spin tales in various media. Like most people, I started making art as a child. Unlike most people, I didn’t stop. My work has appeared everywhere from the Queens Museum to the Condé Nast Building in Times Square to national magazines like Marie Claire and The Feminist Wire. Still, the hustle continues. I don’t write and make art for the big names, though the names certainly give me a platform. I write and make art out of passion as much as a sense of obligation. Telling stories is what I do well and I think everybody owes it to society to make use of their gifts.
IMBH: You mentioned having a platform… You’re involved in a lot of different projects that could provide those platforms. Can you tell us a little more about a couple of them?
CS: Quail Bell Press & Productions serves as the umbrella for most of my creative projects. It’s the art and media production company I started in college and I use it to unleash my ideas onto whatever nooks and crannies of the world that will have them. The main Quail Bell project is Quail Bell Magazine, an art and culture magazine for the imaginary, nostalgic, and the otherworldly. We publish essays, poems, fiction, films, photo sets, and more.
IMBH: What are you creating?
CS: I play with words and images to tell all kinds of stories. Sometimes that means writing an essay; other times, it means creating a poetry film. It really depends on the kind of story I want to tell and what media I think works best. I’ve done everything from on-site installations to mixed media paintings to ‘zines to books.
IMBH: Is there a particular project you’re proud of, like a first publication or piece of work that no one has seen but means a lot to you?
CS: I’m excited about everything I create, at least what I make in my free time. Sometimes in order to support myself, I have to make things I find less exciting but that’s a fact of capitalism. I’m currently the editor-in-chief of two lifestyle publications in New York City and enjoy my job. Journalism and copywriting have earned me the money I need to survive and given me plenty of material to work with as a creative writer and artist.
Anyway, I’ll answer your question by citing a recent project. Lately, I’ve been proud of “Like Breath, Like Air,” which was a collaborative poetry film and photo collage set I produced with my husband, David Fuchs, and friend, Mari Pack.
IMBH: What drives you to create?
CS: I create because I make sense of the world through stories. I hope my stories can help others make sense of the world, too. My magic power is storytelling and I just want to be the best bruja I can be.
IMBH: What’s your creative process like?
CS: I have a routine in the sense that I wake up every morning, drink too much coffee, and create. After that, though, it really is a free-for-all. I pretend I have a ritual, but I really don’t. Regardless of the time of year, I spend most of my days making and consuming art and media. It’s how I feed myself literally and figuratively.
Christine Stoddard is a writer and artist who lives in Brooklyn. She also is the founding editor of Quail Bell Magazine, as well as the author of Hispanic & Latino Heritage in Virginia (The History Press), Ova (Dancing Girl Press, 2017), and two miniature books from the Poems-For-All series. Her work has appeared in the New York Transit Museum, Cosmopolitan, The Feminist Wire, Bustle, the New York City Poetry Festival, Teen Vogue, the Poe Museum, Ravishly, the Condé Nast Building in Times Square, and beyond.
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